The Canadian Pork Council (CPC) is pleased that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is making headway in China in improving trade access for pork to this important international market.

In addition to agreeing to continue exploratory talks toward a comprehensive trade agreement, both countries agreed to start a pilot project for the export of Canadian chilled pork to China. The pilot project is an important step for Canadian producers.

Canada has a particular expertise in exporting chilled pork, especially to Japan, where shares of chilled Canadian pork continue to climb. In 2016 alone, Canada exported 132,094 tons of chilled pork to Japan valued at $755m, a 5% volume increase over the previous year. Canadian pork producers look forward to replicating this success in China where consumers are also demanding safe and nutritious pork.

“This announcement cannot come at a more critical time” says Rick Bergmann, Chair of the Canadian Pork Council. “We are very grateful for all the hard work being done by Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champagne to improve access and are pleased that Minister MacAulay’s trade mission was able to contribute to this success.”

China is Canada’s second-biggest volume export market for pork after the United States and Canada’s second largest national two-way trade partner. As over 70% of Canadian pork is exported, access to this vast market opportunity is essential for the industry to grow and contribute to Canada’s target of $75 billion in exports by 2025 as outlined in Budget 2017.

The Canadian government needs to take every opportunity to secure favorable terms of access to foreign markets. Priority must be to conclude the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership and continue to advance the expectations of Canadian pork producers as it relates to the NAFTA.